This will make sure we’re both clear about the work I’m going to do and will include agreement on budget, timelines and what I’ll deliver. We’ll also agree terms and payment. Normally I’ll ask you to make a deposit payment before I start work followed by a final invoice at the end of the project.
Ideally we should have two discussions to produce an agreed design brief. The first session will cover background to the project, your needs, your audience and competitors, the style, tone and message, what visuals you want and identify any key people to involve.
The second session is technical and covers content (both text and images), materials and finishes as well as any multiple language needs or other considerations. We also need to be clear about how your users and customers will interact with your product. This has a bearing on the layout, functional specifications, content, structure etc. Being clear about how your printed materials will be used from the outset helps us ensure the design supports your requirements. This phase can be scaled up or down depending on your budget but the more thorough we are the more successful the design is likely to be.
Based on these conversations I will produce a design brief for you to review and approve. This will define the work I’ll do for you and what we’ve agreed we need to achieve.
Depending on your budget, we will create up to three visual layout concepts for you to review. These will be based on the briefing and research. We’ll refine and finalise the layout you choose with your feedback. This can include a range of page types where necessary for a more complicated document. We will then have a limited number of review cycles (usually no more than three) where you check and sign off the artwork for production.
I can supply artwork for you to provide to your own suppliers or manage the production process for you using my own trusted suppliers. It’s useful to have your designer manage the print process, especially if you have little experience in this area, as a range of technical issues can arise and the final artwork file may need adjustment after liaising with the printer.
At this point I usually send the second invoice (for £5k+ budgets the payment schedule is based on the five project phases).
As well as the final printed product — usually delivered direct to you from the printer, I will supply a copy of the agreed design brief and an InDesign Package file of the final document. This package file will enable you to update your publication or order reprints as necessary.
Stock images, icons or illustration Content enhancement (photography and/or copy)
Any of the above list these will incur extra costs. I can create artwork in many cases or source from a range of other suppliers if you prefer. You may need to purchase fonts and other materials for ongoing use or to meet licensing conditions. I can also adapt and enhance existing images or copy — I can quote for this work if required.
I would suggest that you invest as much as you can afford into your publications. They can be crucial business tools and communicate a lot about you, your brand, your products and your quality standards. Spending on both good design and good production is important. Well designed and implemented printed materials should last you for at least ten years without needing any updates or changes.
Of course. Around a third of my work is for international clients. We communicate via phone, email and skype and use online collaboration tools to manage, present, comment and discuss on drafts. We will work with a local print service for high quality mockups.
Of course this isn’t ideal for either of us but I’ll do all I can to help. Remember that even if I produce super-fast designs, printing still takes time as it’s a physical process. Get in touch and we can discuss what’s possible.
Of course we want you to be happy with the work we do. That’s why the briefing and planning stage is so important. It helps us to understand better what you want to achieve and what kind of design style works for you.
However, it could happen that you simply don’t like our final work. If we think we have delivered work that does the meet the brief that you approved, although you don’t actually like it, we think it’s reasonable for us to keep the deposit plus a reduced fee to cover the time we have spent working for you. We will discuss this with you if this happens and hopefully agree an amount everyone thinks is fair. In this situation we would withhold the final design work.